UPDATE: Pakistan Telecommunication Authority has recently given its verdict on the Warid-Mobilink merger. PTA is willing to give a “No Objection Certificate” for the merger given that Mobilink and Warid unconditionally comply and accept with the conditions put forward by PTA within 15 days.
A statement has already been issued on the Mobilink website which termed the merger as a milestone and benchmark in the regulatory process.
PTA has the following conditions for approval of the merger:
- All liabilities of Warid will be accepted by Mobilink with respect to all the licenses that Warid was issued by the authority.
- Mobilink and Warid cannot change the names of their or brand names without a 30 day notification period.
- The involved parties shall not reduce the total number of interconnection circuits (E1s) allocated to them by other operators including LL, LDI, cellular licensees, without prior approval of PTA. Interconnect pricing or their capacities shall not impede with other operators’ access to the customer of the Merged Entity.
- All outstanding due by the parties are subject to clearance.
- PTA would be free to take any legal action they deem fit if they find out that the approval application is fabricated, incomplete or false.
- Parties will continue to operate as separate entities until their amalgamation order.
- PMCL and Warid will continue to submit their annual audited financial documents as separate entities until their amalgamation order.
- The agreements between the Parties and franchises / authorized retailers / sellers shall
remain unchanged for a term of 6 months from the date of issuance of the NOC.
Mobilink and Warid will now accept the above-stated conditions of PTA in order to finalize their merger which would ultimately give them their NOC.
With Competition Commission of Pakistan’s approval and NOC from Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, both the companies would file their case with SECP where 100% share of Warid will be transferred to Mobilink. VimpelCom will retain 85% shares of the merged company while Dhabi Group will be given 15% of the merged company.
The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has approved the first of its kind merger of Pakistan Mobile Communications Limited (“Mobilink”) and Warid Telecom (Private) Limited.
This approval is the first of four required approvals from the local regulatory bodies, including Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (“PTA”), Securities & Exchange Commission Pakistan (“SECP”) and the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).
Commenting on the approval, Jean-Yves Charlier, CEO of VimpelCom, said, “We are pleased that the Competition Commission of Pakistan has approved our request to merge the two businesses. The combination of Mobilink and Warid will be a positive step for the development of technology and communications services in Pakistan. Together, the future entity will serve more than 45 million customers through a best-in-class mobile and high-speed network, and bring further investment into infrastructure and digital services for consumers in Pakistan as they navigate the digital world.”
Adeel Bajwa, Chairman Board Executive Committee of Warid Telecom Pakistan, expressed his gratitude, “We are happy on receiving the approval from the Competition Commission and thankful to the Authority for their wisdom and support. The Authority has shown great professionalism in reaching this determination after thorough deliberations and detailed evaluation.”
This is a milestone in the Telecommunication history of Pakistan. Such steps will go a long way towards enhancing investor confidence in the country and the progress of Cellular Industry. We look forward to the next steps in this process and are very excited about the opportunities this affords us for better serving our customers.
The transaction is the first major merger in the mobile telecommunications sector in Pakistan.
*Approval is subject to certain remedies by the CCP.